Dona Fox has crept into my life and embedded herself as one of my favourite authors. Her writing style is exquisite, drawing the reader in with a fierce intensity and the delivering an utter gut punch of a finale.
Dark Tales from the Den is no different, a brilliantly executed collection of short horror tales that send real chills down my spine.
There are too many great stories within this collection to pick one, I could never do any of them justice with my words.
If you haven’t read any of the works of Dona Fox then you must go out and do so this evening! You won’t regret it!!
her late teens, Meredith Berg-Olsen had had all the makings of a runway model.
Now in her late forties, after everything she had been through – including
horrors that John could only guess at – she looked bloodless instead of pale,
skeletal instead of slender, more dead than alive.
John Penrose has two secrets. One is the flatmate he keeps
hidden from the world: his high-school sweetheart, Meredith. His other secret
is the reason he feels compelled to look after her.
Contrition is a horror story with noir undertones and an
atmosphere of mounting dread.”
by Deborah Sheldon, is one of those books that once started on, you just cannot
I found it intriguing
from the beginning; I was desperate to know what the secrets were. Just what
was Meredith? What had John done? The author does a fantastic job of keeping
the reader guessing, and withholding just enough to keep us turning those
pages, without us losing interest or faith in the book. The pace is very fast,
there is always something happening or about to happen and we are never quite
sure what. I knew the payoff would be worth it, and quite frankly, the ending
the history of John and Meredith, goes from normal to ‘what in the hell’ at
great intervals. We get tossed just the right amount of detail and the right
story of John dealing with alcoholism was treated with dignity and respect. I
feel that the author has either had personal dealings with the disease or she
had really done her research. Coming from a family with alcohol problems past
and current, I felt a kinship to John; I was really rooting for him throughout.
He had a lot to deal with, past and present. The toll that Meredith was taking
on him, his day to day life, and his mental well-being; he truly is a strong
character. This is something that really came across well in the narrative.
I am annoyed at
myself for taking so long to read ‘Contrition’. It has been a long standing title
in my to-read list, and for the impact it had on me, I really wish I had gotten
to it sooner. It is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time
I cannot recommend
this enough, Deborah Sheldon is a great author, and she knows how to write deep
and real characters. She can tell a tale and she can scare the crap out of you.
This is a terrifying story of the human condition.
This is the book to read if you want to be completely freaked out and lose some sleep. It is horrifying.
I don’t particularly care for spiders anyways, along with wood chippers they are my biggest fear, but the levels ‘Violet Eyes’ took my phobia too was way above and beyond.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: “
Their bites are more than deadly… The small town near the Everglades was supposed to offer Rachel and her son a fresh start. Instead it offered the start of a nightmare, when an unknown breed of flies migrated through the area, leaving painful bites in their wake. The media warned people to stay inside until the swarm passed. But the flies didn’t leave. And then the radios and TVs went silent. That’s when the spiders came. Spiders that could spin a deadly web large enough to engulf an entire house overnight. Spiders that left stripped bones behind as they multiplied. Spiders that, like the flies, sought hungrily for tender flesh…through Violet Eyes.”
Rachel and her son Eric have moved out to the Everglades for a fresh start. Rachel is moving on from Eric’s father, Anders, and trying to re-build her life, and a life for her son out in the small town of Passanattee. Rachel endures the usual difficulties involved with juggling work and parenthood. She then meets Terry, a man who she could happily bring into her sons life without worry.
It’s what has followed her neighbor Billy, a student whom she meets living across the street from her, home from his terrifying trip to Sheila Key. A swarm of deadly flies, and the spiders that will literally eat you alive.
This is truly terrifying read, I was incredibly itchy during and after with all the descriptive imagery of the murderous spiders and the swarms of flies. I really am not a fan of our eight-legged friends (sorry spiders, it’s me not you). The author has done a wonderful job, I feel, of making this story into two things. One being a great creature feature. It has it all, scary flies and spiders swarming, web covered houses, people being eaten alive, and even spiders popping out of eyeballs – as well as other places (let’s just say if I was male, I would be wincing). The second, it’s a story of family, of new beginnings, of love and of walking away from a bad situation. It really is a wonderful read.
“The best things in life were usually killed by ignorance, ambivalence, age, wisdom and sometimes, outright malevolence. Whatever the reasons, the things you loved most always seemed to die long before you were ready to let them go.”
Chapter 32 ‘Violet Eyes’ by John Everson
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Violet Eyes is a book worth your time. It’s terrifying, creepy, nightmare educing, all the things the horror fan could wish for.